I feel at home. I’m not sure if it’s Thailand or the simple fact that I am out traveling again, but whichever the answer, I couldn’t be happier.
I first visited Thailand while in college. I had chosen to study International Business in Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) for two months along with thirteen other WSU students. I fell in love with everything about it then and it feels like meeting up with an old friend now. The people, the culture, the food, the relaxed and calm state of all who live here. I can’t think of any reasons to not like Thailand, it is the Land of a Thousand Smiles, after all, and believe me when I tell you, you can find one on every corner.
I moved here to be an English Teacher with my friend Sarah. Sarah and I studied abroad in Switzerland together during college and we’ve both had the travel bug ever since. ‘English Teacher’ is what it says on paper but I like to think of my new role in life as a ‘curious-ateur’. Yes, it’s a made up word but I like it. Now, back to my role as a teacher…. Being a teacher in Thailand is a renowned and very respected position. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity and all of the things it will teach me about myself, those around me, and a more in depth look at the Thai culture.
I will be teaching secondary students, ages 12-18, while Sarah will be teaching primary students, ages 5-11. We start school on October 31st which means we have not yet met our students – I for one cannot wait to be up in front of my students. It’s going to be as much of a learning experience for me as it will for them. My only concerns right now are what games am I going to play with them? Word on the street is that Hangman is a solid choice and favorite among Thai kids – done!
So, what have I been up to the last week? Bangkok.
Meaning; orientation, sleeping off the minor jet lag (14 hours ahead of the West Coast), eating, learning, shopping, meeting the other 200 teachers, drinking, dinner cruising and dancing, riding an elephant, and making new friends.
Arrival and Orientation:
Nightlife on Khaosan Road:
The Grand Palace:
New friends, dinner cruise, and dancing in the rain:
Kanchanaburi, River Kwai Bridge, and riding elephants:
After a fun and quick week in Bangkok and Kanchanaburi we were picked-up by our school coordinators and taken to our new home in Mae Sot or Maesod (everyone has different spellings since the Thai do not use a Roman Alphabet)! It was a long 6 hour drive Northwest from Bangkok. The driver was a bit crazy and I thought we were going to die a couple times – no joke. Nonetheless we made it safe and sound! Our new house is consider quite luxurious for Thai standards. We have a washing machine – thankfully! Now, we have some time on our hands until school starts so I think we may head North to Chiang Rai!